Deceased May 4, 2019
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Alan Greenbaum was a pre-med student at Amherst and a member of Beta. Alan had a marvelous spirit, a keen mind, a superb sense of humor, a gift for friendship, a near-boundless energy and an adventurous nature. One summer he hitchhiked to San Francisco, drawn by the allure of the beatniks. He loved to tell the tale of wandering in North Beach, in a beard and a Mexican serape, looking for beatniks, when suddenly a bus crammed with tourists, pulled up beside him. The tourists began taking pictures: they’d been seeking a beatnik, and had finally found one in him.
In the 1970s, I encountered Alan in Berkeley, where I lived and he had opened a medical practice as a GP. I promptly became one of his patients and continued to be one until he retired four or five years ago.
Alan was a great doctor—caring, compassionate, highly competent and devoted to his patients. He listened attentively, explained clearly and gave as much time to each patient as he felt that patient needed. Unsurprisingly, he was often behind his schedule. I quickly learned to bring a book to an appointment with Al.
When “managed care” arrived during the ’80s, Alan decided he should try it and signed up with a major healthcare company. Within a few weeks, a company executive told him he wasn’t seeing enough patients per day and had to speed up his practice and see another patient every 15 minutes. Alan immediately quit. During the remaining years of his practice, he remained independent and continued to give each patient as much time as he felt was necessary.
Alan had a child from each of his first two marriages and two children with his third wife, Laurel, who survives him.
Denis Clifford ’61